Archive for Friday, January 5, 2018

Family mourns fun-loving Lawrence woman killed by ‘reckless’ bullet

At left is Lei-Ala A. Turner, who was fatally shot shortly after 11 p.m. on Dec. 27 at 2310 W. 26th St., the August Place Apartments in south Lawrence, shown at right.

At left is Lei-Ala A. Turner, who was fatally shot shortly after 11 p.m. on Dec. 27 at 2310 W. 26th St., the August Place Apartments in south Lawrence, shown at right.

January 5, 2018


The baby of her large family, who lived with several medical issues she’d dealt with since childhood, Lei-Ala Turner was doted on by her parents and siblings.

One of the 30-year-old Lawrence woman’s favorite things to do was socialize with relatives and her close friends, mother Nadra Turner of Lawrence said. She was a "selfie queen" and often did a few "warm-up" dance moves before going out, which always made her mother laugh.

“Lei was a party person,” her mother said. “Everybody was her friend.”

That’s what Lei-Ala Turner was doing the night she was killed, family said, by a bullet reportedly fired accidentally — but recklessly.

Lei-Ala A. Turner

Lei-Ala A. Turner

Turner was fatally shot shortly after 11 p.m. Dec. 27 at 2310 W. 26th St., the August Place Apartments in south Lawrence.

Responding officers found Turner with a single gunshot wound to the chest, which initial information indicated may have been accidental, according to police. Police said the following morning they had identified a suspect, and 27-year-old Lawrence resident Willie K. Franklin was arrested late Dec. 31.

Franklin is charged in Douglas County District Court with one count of involuntary manslaughter, for allegedly “recklessly” killing Turner, according to charges. He also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, less than 10 years after a conviction for cocaine possession.

That night, Turner was at her older sister’s apartment, where a group of her relatives and friends were partying and planning to go out, said Turner’s brother Armond Enclarde, of Lawrence.

Franklin, a longtime close acquaintance of the family, had a gun he was handling and showing at the gathering, Enclarde said witnesses told him. Enclarde said Franklin cleared the chamber of the gun — or so he thought — then took the clip out. Mistakenly believing there was no bullet left, he squeezed the trigger and shot Turner, Enclarde said.

“He didn’t treat it like the weapon it was — a deadly weapon,” Enclarde said.

August Place Apartments, 2310 W. 26th St., are pictured Thursday, Dec. 28. 2017.

August Place Apartments, 2310 W. 26th St., are pictured Thursday, Dec. 28. 2017.

Turner’s memorial service is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.

On Friday, her mother and extended family members from Louisiana began gathering and cooking — shrimp creole, mustard greens and gumbo in huge quantities — at Enclarde’s Lawrence home. More relatives from out-of-state were on the way.

Born into an Army family in Fort Polk, La., Turner grew up and graduated from high school in Colorado Springs, Colo. She moved to Lawrence in 2011 and later graduated from cosmetology school here.

Relatives said she always kept her makeup to a minimum, but specialized in doing hair.

Turner was born with a cleft palate, and underwent multiple surgeries for it, according to her family. She also had a heart murmur and problems with seizures that began when she was just a year old. In addition, she had severe asthma that had caused her lungs to collapse, twice.

Several years ago, she was in a serious car accident that left her with broken bones and laid up for more than a month.

As the baby of the family, Turner was spoiled, her brother said. He said she was known for being friendly, funny and fun-loving, but those medical struggles showed her other side.

She was resilient, he said, “very resilient.”

Turner was also more reserved when it came to strangers, Enclarde said.

“She was confident around her friends and family,” he said, but less so around strangers because a speech impediment made her difficult to understand and she hated having to repeat herself.

Lei-Ala A. Turner

Lei-Ala A. Turner

In Turner’s funeral program, her family wrote: “Lei was easily lovable and you could always find her with a smile on her face, ready to have fun! Once you were her friend, you were her friend until the end.”

Turner’s death was the 10th homicide of 2017 in Douglas County, and the sixth investigated by Lawrence police for the year.

There is a GoFundMe page to help cover her funeral expenses, online at

Contact public safety reporter Sara Shepherd
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P Allen Macfarlane 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Another loss that could have been prevented with licensing that requires proper training in the safe use of firearms.

Brock Masters 2 months, 2 weeks ago

No it couldn’t. The person was a felon and possessed the gun illegally. Criminals ignore laws including licensing and training requirements.

The law must provide for long no-parole sentences for felons illegally possessing firearms and life sentences for them when they kill someone while in possession of a firearm.

Let me add it is heartbreaking that this young woman lost her life. We need to enforce and strengthen current laws that prevent and punish criminals for illegally possessing guns.

Bob Forer 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You're funny. You claim that felons don't pay attention to laws but then suggest that stiffer laws might deter them.

Oh the irony.

Mike Revel 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I suppose you think Mr. Enclarde would have taken the firearms training course. Heck, if he'd been an illegal living in SF, he'd get a key to the city!

Although you would expect someone with as many felonies as Mr. Enclarde to be familiar with the operation of firearms.

Justin Hoffman 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Your lack of reading comprehension is showing again Bob.

Brock Masters 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I didn’t use the word deter - your use. The laws won’t deter them but keeping them in jail prevents them from committing crimes. If they are in jail and not on the streets they are prevented, the word I used, from committing crimes.

Also I didn’t say felons ignore laws. I said criminals ignore laws. It is a fact or do you dispute it? Like Justin said you have trouble with reading comprehension.

Bob Smith 2 months, 2 weeks ago

A projectile is an inanimate object. This woman was killed by a reckless person.

Bob Summers 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Firearms need to be banned like they are in Chicago.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You know it doesn't help your cause to spread lies about Chicago's gun laws. Can't you defend your cause without lying?

Bob Summers 2 months, 2 weeks ago

So HR, you are implying, to save valuable lives you would be for banning firearms from those cultures that abuse them most.

That is a beautiful thought.

Thanks for caring.

Gary Stussie 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Good update Dorothy. I was under the impression Chicago still did have the strictest gun laws in the nation. Seems to suggest that the old "if guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns" saying has merit.

Gary Stussie 2 months, 2 weeks ago

BTW ... I'm thinkin' "spreading lies" suggests one knows that they are lies rather than outdated facts.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 1 week ago

No, conservatives "journalist" sites still spread this lie, and then their followers repeat it. If you don't check your facts, you lie.

Bob Smith 2 months, 1 week ago

That's really very funny coming from you, Dorothy.

Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

Conservstive Journalists sites are the one spreading lies (fake news) ... you living in a bubble?

Louis Kannen 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This heart-wrenching 'isolated incident' has sadly become a 'normal and anticipated' regular fact of life in today's Society. At it's root core lies the ongoing, monumental breakdown of the natural and basic intact family structure ( Mother, Father, Children and Grandparents ).

Brock Masters 2 months, 2 weeks ago

How many days will the felon who killed Kate in San Francisco spend in jail after being convicted of illegal firearm possession? 0 - they credited time served. The max was 3 years.

We need to strengthen our enforcement and sentences for people illegally possessing firearms.

Bob Forer 2 months, 2 weeks ago

just enough responsible gun owner admiring his hardware with others.

Bob Smith 2 months, 1 week ago

Oh, you're being ironic by describing someone who is obviously not a responsible gun owner as being a responsible gun owner. How wonderfully clever of you.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 1 week ago

It's sad that the NRA members here are pushing their agenda on an article about the victim. I'm truly sorry for her friends and family who will miss this young lady. And I'm sad for the loss of a future that has been cut short.

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